does a dead bird smell

Nobody likes the thought of wild animals in their home. The idea that there are critters lurking somewhere in the house gives people chills. They leave frustrating messes behind and are difficult to track down. But sometimes they can pose even more irritating problems when they die in your house.

The most common areas of your home to find a decomposing animal body are ductwork, behind drywall, attics, garages, and crawl space. Typical animals are opossums, raccoons, skunks, mice, rats, and squirrels.

How Long Will a Dead Animal Smell?

The animal will continue to smell strongly while it decomposes. Once completely decayed or dried out the smell should subside. However, this process will take longer if the animal passes away in or near moist conditions.

The aroma of tiny animals, such as a baby mouse, might only linger for one or two days. But heavier animals, like skunks, take a month or longer to decompose, and larger animals, like squirrels, take a week or longer!

Locate the Source of the Smell

Finding the location of the animal’s death within your home is the first step. Determine which part of the house has the strongest scent using your nose. If you’re lucky, all that will have to be done is remove the corpse from an open area, such as the garage or attic. But most of the time, bugs can fall between the walls, become stuck, and start to decay there.

When an animal is foul-smelling but invisible, you might have to literally drag its nose across the gap in the wall to find the precise spot where it died.

There might be an increase in flies or maggots gathered in one area. This suggests that there is a cadaver embedded in your walls. Larger animals like opossums or raccoons have been known to leave damp patches or stains at the site, while smaller rodents like rats just leave a stench.

For assistance in locating or removing the carcass from your walls, contact a qualified wildlife removal technician. After treating the area, they usually drill a hole in the wall, spray a neutralizing or masking agent, and then repaint the area. Additionally, they can assist you in managing insect infestations such as flies and beetles that consume dead animals.

Obvious Signs of Animal Decomposition

  • Wet Spots: The decaying body will start to liquefy, as repulsive as it may sound. This moisture will eventually start to seep into the ceiling or walls, depending on where the body is. Clearly, this could harm the home’s structural integrity.
  • Flies: You’ve undoubtedly noticed how flies congregate around decaying objects in the wild, such as roadkill or an old orange on the ground. They like to lay their eggs in rotting animals as well, since it gives the maggots plenty of food when they hatch, and they get easy nutrition from decomposing materials. There may be a dead animal inside if you observe a sudden increase in flies.
  • Smell: Having a dead animal in your home will inevitably result in this smell, which cannot be avoided. After a length of time, the smell will be so strong and foul that it will be hard to ignore. The smell may initially be localized and weak when the body starts to decompose, but it will become overwhelming after a few days.

The decomposition process of an animal carcass happens quickly, especially in warm weather. When soft tissues are consumed by bacteria, sulfurous, odorous gases are released, which can cause the dead animal to swell up to three times its original size. Bloating pushes fluids out of the animal’s orifices even more, which intensifies the fluid seepage and stench.

Disposing of the dead animal carcass is the quickest and most straightforward method to eliminate the dead animal stench. When dead animals are found outside, the smell goes away as soon as the body is removed. But it’s not so simple to get rid of the overpowering smell of a dead animal decomposing inside your house.

  • Enzyme cleaners are solutions that contain enzymes to break down and dissolve the molecules causing stains and the smell of dead animals. Enzymes are non-toxic proteins that accelerate the chemical processes required to eliminate odors emitted by the decaying body of an animal.
  • Baking Soda: To create a paste that can be applied to areas where dead animals are decomposing, combine baking soda and water. Allow the paste to dry before removing the residue.
  • Only certain solid surfaces that bleach won’t damage will benefit from the use of full-strength bleach to remove the smell of a dead animal. While bleach is effective at killing a variety of microorganisms, its effects may only be momentary.


How long does the smell of a dead bird last?

The surest sign there is a dead animal is the putrid stench caused by decomposition. Fluids drain out and leech into nearby materials, causing foul stains which spread and grow as the animal’s body continues to rot. How long does a dead animal stink? The smell could last anywhere from a few days to a few month.

Should you leave a dead bird?

Disposing of Dead Wild Birds If you don’t have gloves, turn a plastic bag inside out and use it to pick up the carcass. Double-bag the carcass and throw it away in your regular trash. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handling HPAI-infected birds is unlikely to lead to illness in people.

How long does it take a dead bird to decompose?

Being thin and light, a small bird decomposes into an unrecognizable blob in about a day and will disappear in three. A larger bird will take a bit longer, but a small mammal, say a rat, might continue to exist in recognizable form for a week or more.

Is it OK to touch dead bird?

There is no evidence that a person can get infected from handling live or dead infected birds. However, you should avoid bare-handed contact when handling any dead animal. If you must pick up a dead bird, use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the bird in a garbage bag.